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Study Material Options
Jul 27, 2015

Study Material Options

Studying for the GMAT can get overwhelming. Even before you dive into your prep work, the process of setting up a plan is stressful. Today’s modern world has brought with it a number of benefits for GMAT testers including an unprecedented amount of study materials. However, with all of these options it can be difficult to discern precisely what you need and what will work best for you. Let me walk you through the most common sources for GMAT prep.

GMAC Official Guide and Prep Company Books

Literally hitting the books may be viewed as old school by some, but no one can argue with its track record. Books designed to prepare you to take the GMAT have been around for nearly as long as the GMAT itself and I have yet to meet anyone who is studying for the GMAT that does not at least have one book laying around.

There are two major groups of books that you can use for the GMAT. The first is written and published by GMAC. If that name sounds familiar (and it should) it is because they are the company behind the creation of the GMAT. This is the officially licensed guide to GMAT prep, and while it can be dry in places it is still a good read. The second category of prep books are written by any one of the myriad of GMAT prep companies out there. Many of these groups have been at this for a long time and they have fantastic strategies and tips.

Online prep sites

Welcome to the digital age! There are a number of internet-based companies who provide GMAT prep materials. In fact, we are one of them! WYZprep, and companies like us, provide online articles, tutorials, videos, and practice questions. As an added bonus, typically access to these materials is absolutely free! Additionally, credible online prep sites will interact with you and answer questions (we do). These sites are a solid option for anyone preparing for the GMAT and regardless of what other sources of information you choose, it is wise to keep your favorites bookmarked as they provide high quality, free information.

Online Forums

There is a nasty rumor going around that if you study online you miss out on the moral support of having peers and classmates. Forums are proof that this is not the case. GMAT forums provide a place for individuals to discuss their prep work and other GMAT related topics. As a general rule, the vast majority of these forums are very supportive and provide a positive atmosphere. As a quick word of caution, while many forum members are very knowledgeable, most of the individuals found on forums will be others in the same position as you and it is possible to get bad, albeit well intentioned, advice.

On-Demand Lessons

This option tends to fly under a lot of people’s radar and many individuals who are just starting out do not know that on-demand programs exist. If you are the type of person who studies best in a structured classroom setting, but do not have the leeway in your schedule to make fixed class times, these are a fantastic option. Lectures are prerecorded, so you cannot as questions live, but quite often you can email them in and instructors will get back to you as soon as they can.

Live Classes

For some, nothing can beat taking a prep class live and in person. Make no mistake, there are concessions that you have to make if you choose this option. Class times are not flexible and you will have to bend your schedule around them. Additionally, some programs can be fairly expensive. Still, the allure of a structured, quiet setting with a knowledgeable instructor who can answer your questions immediately is appealing.

Building your study plan can be difficult. The good news is that there is lots of quality information out there from a variety of sources, presented in a wide range of formats. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what makes sense for your learning style and life situation. Still, you will likely end up using more than one type of study material, and that is works too.

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